Marriott International to debut JW Marriott brand in Saudi Arabia this year

Marriott International to debut JW Marriott brand in Saudi Arabia this year

Riyad REIT has signed a contract with Marriott International to operate its Burj Rafal Hotel in Riyadh.  

The operation of the hotel will be handed over to Marriott in Q1 2020 and will remain open for guests until then. 

Following a renovation period, the property will be rebranded as a JW Marriott Hotel – marking the debut of the brand in Saudi Arabia.

Abdulaziz Al Mousa, Riyad REIT fund manager said: “We are excited to work with Marriott International to operate Burj Rafal Hotel – the tallest operational building in Riyadh. Marriott International will take over the operations of the hotel in Q1 2020 and will undergo an improvement plan during the year, which includes the introduction of new dining concepts such as Kahwet Al Mandaloun and JW Grill.  The combination of one of the largest hotel operator’s luxury brands (JW Marriott) in a flagship property with new lifestyle dining options achieves our objective of positioning a destination in the northern growth corridor of Riyadh. Riyad REIT has been a proponent of the Kingdom’s tourism drive and expanded business potential, and has been one of the only REITs with a strong focus on hospitality. The ambitious plans of the government to transform the leisure, entertainment, and business environment has already taken a foothold in the country.  An increase in inbound travel, a boost in domestic tourism, and significant growth in events this year has clearly shown the untapped potential of the country. Working with Marriott International to operate the asset under the JW brand – the first in the kingdom – will deliver an unprecedented level of service and accommodation in Riyadh given the hotel’s diversified amenities and location. The hotel will represent the hospitality element within the master plan of the future mixed-use project – Capital Gate – that will be developed through Riyad Capital – The fund manager of Riyad REIT.  Capital Gate will offer more than 100,000 square meters of office, retail, and entertainment space that will be connected to the Hotel – offering a true mixed-use atmosphere.”

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Jerome Briet, chief development officer, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International said: “Saudi Arabia remains an important growth market for the company and we continue to see opportunity to further diversify our footprint in the Kingdom.  We are also seeing an increasing demand for conversion deals in the country, which is a strong reflection of Marriott’s powerful network, compelling brand portfolio, loyal customer based and commitment to deliver value for our owners.”

The property is part a 64-storey skyscraper, the one-of-a-kind tower in Riyadh is home to residential apartments, and STC Academy, the Saudi Telecom Company’s technology and leadership academy. The Hotel will also be part of the future Capital Gate community, which is strategically located between King Abdullah Financial District and Avenues Mall, expected to be the largest shopping mall in the Kingdom, and will benefit from the connectivity to Riyadh metro.



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